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Sacred Calligraphy of the East [Paperback]

John Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 14.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Feb 2013

Throughout the East, writing is held to be a gift from the gods, and the divinely inspired letters and characters are objects of the highest veneration. The religious significance of calligraphy has thus led to a unique development of the art of brush and ink in Japan, China, India, and Tibet. This beautifully illustrated book covers such topics as the history and spirit of Eastern calligraphy, the art of copying religious texts, the biographies of important Zen calligraphers, and practical instructions on materials and techniques for the contemporary student. No knowledge of the languages discussed is required for the reader to appreciate the study of this ancient practice.

John Stevens lived in Japan for thirty-five years, where he was a professor of Buddhist studies at Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai. Stevens is a widely respected translator, an ordained Buddhist priest, a curator of several major exhibitions of Zen art, and an aikido instructor. He has authored over thirty books and is one of the foremost Western experts on Aikido, holding a ranking of 7th dan Aikikai. Stevens has also studied calligraphy for decades, authoring this classic Sacred Calligraphy of the East. Other John Stevens titles that are likely to be of interest include The Philosophy of Aikido, Extraordinary Zen Masters, and The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media; 3 edition (28 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162654994X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626549944
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 21.3 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation of techniques and images 26 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Honestly I bought the book out of pure intuition. I didn't know what to expect except for a very interesting index. It was a wonderful surprise. Leading a meditation workshop based on western calligraphy technique, I had a keen personal interest on reading this book. Extraordinary in its coverage of background, theory, examples and exercises, it sure is an excellent addition to any artist or person interested in finding a creative and trascendental outlet for his creativity. Although a little technical knowledge goes a long way here, it is also easy for beginners to start. Recommended whole-heartedly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good reference 22 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Filled with good eastern script references. Detailed images with good depictions of brush strokes. Useful historic background information to each script.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation of techniques and images 26 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Honestly I bought the book out of pure intuition. I didn't know what to expect except for a very interesting index. It was a wonderful surprise. Leading a meditation workshop based on western calligraphy technique, I had a keen personal interest on reading this book. Extraordinary in its coverage of background, theory, examples and exercises, it sure is an excellent addition to any artist or person interested in finding a creative and trascendental outlet for his creativity. Although a little technical knowledge goes a long way here, it is also easy for beginners to start. Recommended whole-heartedly.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful tour of Oriental calligraphy 7 Aug 2000
By Mayer Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sacred Calligraphy of the East takes you through the scripts used in the sacred writings of religions and nations of East Asia. If the book would have just been a wide collection of calligraphic examples, this would have been a good enough reason to get the book. But the book is more than this: It actually teaches you to draw these characters. It's a wonderful book.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference to sacred oriental calligraphy 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Two years ago, at a Zen retreat, I needed something to relax my mind. The priest who headed the retreat had, at his house, an assortment of books from which to choose. I didn't want something cerebral. I fingered his library and came upon John Steven's "Sacred Calligraphy of the East." It was perfect! It offered pictures from which I was able to relax and study the historical progress of Eastern calligraphic forms. Since then, I have bought the book for myself and I continually refer to it when in need. That may seem rather odd: I don't really know why the book relaxes me and gives me solice, but I am quite grateful to John Stevens for his contribution to the art and to my life.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant survey of calligraphic history 6 July 2001
By Brian Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I like best about the book is the way in which it traces the historical development of calligraphy. The author's Japan bias matches my own (I got into calligraphy in Japan) and so I didn't particularly mind the heavy Japan slant. What I found frustrating was the lack of a pronunciation guide, especially for the Sanskrit. Given the diacritics in use, I would have liked to have known how to pronounce the dotted consonants, etc. It would be nice to learn more about Khmer and Thai calligraphy also, but I turn to other books...
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Jun 2014
By Olga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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